Notes from SharePoint User Group Meeting, "Evaluating SharePoint for Collaboration" (March 2008, New Zealand)

Last night (Tuesday March 25) I was the presenter at the March session of the Christchurch SharePoint User Group meeting, presenting on the topic of Evaluating SharePoint for Collaboration. Given that I have blogged all of the previous sessions that I have attended, Mike, one of the attendees, asked me if I was going to present and live blog as well. I haven’t figured that one out yet …

The content for the session was drawn from my white paper on evaluating SharePoint for collaboration (see The 7 Pillars of IT-Enabled Team Productivity: The Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Analysis). There were about 16 people in attendance, and the topic even brought in some people who have not attended a previous user group meeting in Christchurch.

I didn’t realize it until I started setting up, but I took a risky approach to the session. I actually relied on all of the technology working flawlessly, and apart from my Apple laptop freezing up for a few moments with the PowerPoint deck, it all worked. “It” was:
– an Apple laptop running PowerPoint connected to a KVM switch, and then to a data projector
– a Toshiba laptop running Office 2007 connected to the other side of the KVM switch and then to the same data projector
– a Lenovo X60 tablet running Office 2007 connected to a second data projector
– a video camera connected to the second data projector (the camera was mounted on a tripod)
– a live Internet connection for the two Windows laptops

This meant that I could show my slides off the Apple on the main screen. When I wanted to do a live demo of how SharePoint does (or doesn’t) “work”, I clicked the KVM button and then had two Windows machines showing on respective screens (“Nicholas” and “Oliver”, as two distinct users of SharePoint). When the demo was done, I went back to the slides. At one point when I wanted to show a Windows Mobile 6 device against SharePoint, I changed the second datashow to display input from the video camera — it worked fine, although I ended up not going through the full demo of that. After I was done with my slides and the demos, I left the slides on one, and quickly (although it took a few moments too long to get the screen orientation right), I pulled the Tablet off the media dock and did a digital whiteboard on the second screen for Q&A. All-in-all, it worked great, even if it did take four chock-full bags to carry everything!

At the end of the session, I held a business card draw … and Greg won a copy of the white paper.

It was a great evening, and I thank each attendee for listening, for asking good questions at the end, and for filling out my evaluation form.

And a very big thank you to Cii for providing us with a room and for opening their network to give me Internet access; and to Andrew for bringing the second data projector for my use.

Comments from Attendees
Here are some of the comments that people from end-user organizations of SharePoint wrote on the evaluation forms (and they gave permission for me to write them here — thanks):

Well pitched to audience level. Great slides. Dynamic use of real life examples.” (Dorje)

Very good. Objective, and very timely for our organization as we are evaluating SharePoint’s capabilities.” (Edwin)

Excellent content. Gave clarity to SharePoint.” (Gwyn)

For More Information
For more information:
– buy a copy of the white paper
– arrange to have the Evaluating SharePoint for Collaboration day-long workshop held at your place. It offers the same content, plus strategic planning time and discussion about how *your organization* is thinking about using SharePoint.

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